Lord of the Flies meets Never Let Me Go in this compelling and heart-breaking dystopian novel from British Fantasy Award winner Sarah Pinborough.
In the near future, children are tested for the defective gene. Those who possess it are taken from their homes, torn from their families and sent to the Death House.
Standing alone on a remote island, it looks like a 1940s boarding school. But a school prepares children for life, and these children are destined to die. Idling their time away in pointless classes, supervised by cold matrons, their days have no purpose, because neither do their futures.
When the sickness hits, death comes quickly. Children are taken from their dormitories in the night and never seen again. Forced to confront his own mortality, 16-year-old Toby tries to block out his past, and the terrifying unknown that is his future. Until a van arrives with a group of new kids, and everything changes.
Death may be certain, but Toby discovers that his fate is up to him.
|Product dimensions:||7.90(w) x 5.10(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Sarah Pinborough is a critically acclaimed horror, thriller and YA author. She has written for New Tricks on the BBC and has an original horror film in development. Sarah was the 2014 winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Novella, and has three times been short-listed for Best Novel. She has also been short-listed for a World Fantasy Award. She lives in London.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Defective children are being taken to the Death House. They have to leave their family behind and aren't allowed to interact with anyone but other Defectives and the staff. They're waiting to get sick, which means being taken to the sanatorium, where nobody ever returns from. The Death House has been divided into dorms and Toby is in one of them. He used to be a regular teenager and his biggest worry was going to a party with the popular crowd. Now he has different things on his mind. Toby has no idea when he'll start feeling ill, so far he's fine. Waiting for the inevitable, however, is tough. The Defectives can do whatever they like as long as they don't have symptoms, but their days are stressful as nobody wants to be the next one in line to be sent to the sanatorium. Life at the Death House becomes a lot more interesting for Toby when Clara is among the new patients. Clara wants to spend her last days in happiness and her cheerful presence makes every child in the house feel better. Clara also shares Toby's secret, so he's no longer on his own, which makes it easy for them to talk and make plans. They don't want to end up in the sanatorium and there must be a way to have a respectful and peaceful ending instead, will they be able to find it? The Death House is an impressive story about life and death, living in uncertainty, having a terrible inescapable destiny, friendship and love. Even though the Death House is all about the last stage before the sanatorium, it also feels like a regular high school with normal problems like trying to fit in, fights, cliques and forming friendships. This contrast makes the story even better. Toby and Clara are living in a nightmarish world, but they're determined to find light in the darkness, which I found incredible. They have something precious and they won't let go. I regularly had tears in my eyes while reading their story. While the idea behind it might be sad, there's so much hope and beauty in the way they connect and attempt to maximally live in the short time they have. Sarah Pinborough has written a thought-provoking story. She raises questions and gives the reader the space to interpret. Everything she writes about is being experienced through the eyes of the Defectives, so the reader knows what they know and nothing more. I absolutely loved this approach and greatly admired the boldness behind writing a story that way. For me it worked very well and it made The Death House even more fascinating. I was curious, intrigued and captivated from beginning to end. The Death House is creepy and filled with fear, but there's also friendliness and love. I loved this contradiction. The story is multilayered with many surprising twists and turns and the ending blew me away. I highly recommend this fantastic book.
This is a good book. It starts off really slow to the point that I wanted to stop reading it. But I forced myself to keep going and when the new kids arrived a quarter into the book the book just got better from there. The ending surprised me a bit but overall i actually ended up enjoying and feeling attached to some of the characters.
This book is pointless jabber. Lord knows if there is a plot or takeaway from this, as it just goes on and on. Not a good buy. David